Local comic book artist Greg Stump, visited with our book club in January to discuss the graphic novel, March: Book One by Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin along with illustrator Nate Powell. For more information on that book club meeting, check out this post.
Part of his presentation included analyzing the various illustrative techniques and how they were used to enrich the story, allowing readers to make powerful inferences based on visual cues. Stump’s commentary is included underneath each page from the book.
This is the opening page of the book and a good example of using a large scene/panel that dominates the page as a way of emphasizing the place/setting (in this case the bridge where the police confronted/attacked the activists). It’s always a sound strategy to emphasize the setting at the start of a story, and in this case it makes even more sense to do so because the detail imbued in the drawing makes it more vivid — it puts us there so we can feel more viscerally the significance of the moment. The fact that the first panel is borderless and “bleeds” towards the edges of the page adds to its standing apart from the panels that follow.